Max Lucado and Ravi Zacharias: both became popular Christian teachers; both wrote best selling Christian books. I have their books in my library. I enjoyed reading them. Now the question is, did these guys really believe what they wrote in their books? Looking back, I really doubt these guys believed what they wrote in their own books.
First let us take Max Lucado. He is the pastor of Oak Hills Church, San Antonio, Texas. He has written over 100 books with 130 million copies in print. Recently he was invited to the National Cathedral in Washington DC. Not long ago, one Sunday I was in Washington DC. I went to the National Cathedral for the morning worship. I asked people, who is the speaker? They said, Karen Armstrong. She is a fellow of Jesus Seminar, the group of scholars who do not believe in the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. I said to myself, “Really, the woman who wrote the book ‘History of God’, the woman who attacked our Lord Jesus Christ in that book, is she preaching today in this church?” I could not sit there. I left immediately.
National Cathedral……Once upon a time, they were great Cathedrals. Now they became temples of Satan. Once upon a time, godly men and women worked in those cathedrals. Now the ministers of Satan occupied their pulpits. Once upon a time, true Biblical teaching adorned their great pillars. Now they are teaching doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1-3). No true man of God would take the invitation from the National Cathedral. But Max Lucado thought that was an honor. He was ready to preach his ‘how to have faith in trials’. However, he was viciously attacked by the Left and Cancel culture. Their complaint was that Max Lucado took Bible based positions on marriage and gender. Needless to say that is not allowed in today’s woke culture. There was uproar against the invitation to Max Lucado. So what did Max do? He wrote an apology letter for taking the Bible seriously on matters of marriage and sexuality. He wrote,
“Faithful people may disagree about what the Bible says about homosexuality, but we agree that God’s holy Word must never be used as a weapon to wound others. To be clear, I believe in the traditional biblical understanding of marriage, but I also believe in a God of unbounded grace and love. LGBTQ individuals and LGBTQ families must be respected and treated with love. They are beloved children of God because, they are made in the image and likeness of God.”
They are beloved children of God?. Max contends that LGBTQ individuals are beloved children of God because, they are made in the image and likeness of God. He does not seem to understand the basic doctrines of the Bible. All human beings are creatures of God. But only those people who repent of their sins, and accept Lord Jesus as their personal Savior will become beloved children of God. The term, ‘Children of God’ is reserved to Christians who have been redeemed by the blood of Lord Jesus Christ. It does not seem Max Lucado has courage to take a stand for these biblical truths and to deny the invitation to the National Cathedral.
Let me quote what Max wrote in his book Glory Days.
“Caleb did. His story stands out because his faith did. Forty-five years earlier when Moses sent the twelve spies into Canaan, Caleb was among them. He and Joshua believed the land could be taken. But since the other ten spies disagreed, the children of Israel ended up in the wilderness. God, however, took note of Caleb’s courage. The man’s convictions were so striking that God paid him a compliment that would make a saint blush. “my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly” (Numbers 14:24 NIV). How would you like to have those words on your resume?” (Glory Days by Max Lucado)
Max wants us to learn from Caleb. But first we must ask, “Max, did you learn anything from Caleb?” Out of 12 spies, only Joshua and Caleb took the position of faith. They wanted to fight the enemies of Israel. The other ten spies did not want any fighting. They gave up and they asked the people of Israel to give up. The people of Israel sided with the ten spies. They even wanted to kill Caleb and Joshua for their decision to engage the enemy.
Caleb and Joshua took a wildly unpopular position: let us cross the Jordan. The whole congregation of Israel wanted to destroy Caleb. Yet Caleb did not budge. He was courageous because He trusted the Lord. Max Lucado wants us to learn from Caleb. But it does not seem Max learnt much from Caleb. Max wrote an ‘apology’ letter to liberals for taking a Biblical position on marriage and sexuality. We can’t imagine Caleb giving an apology for taking his position on Israel’s enemies.
Max asked us, “How would you like to have those words on your resume?”. Max, your resume is not looking good. We do not see any courage for your convictions in your resume.
Coming to Ravi Zacharias, he started his ministry with a sermon entitled ‘Convictions that Conquered the World”. It is about how seriously the apostles took their faith in the Book of Acts. Soon, Ravi was preaching at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah. We can’t imagine the Apostles of the New Testament taking invitation from people who espouse Mormonism, which is from the pit of hell. You might say, Ravi talked about Jesus. But what kind of Jesus? Did Ravi have the courage to condemn the false Jesus of Mormonism? Did he have courage to magnify the Jesus of the New Testament? Mormons believe they too will become gods in the future. Did Ravi have the courage to call it a blasphemy? No,no and no. Ravi presented a superficial Jesus.
Apostle Paul wrote, But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! (Galatians 1:8-9)
Even an angel from heaven should not be preaching a different gospel than the one the Apostle preached. But that is exactly what Mormonism is all about. Angel Moroni preached a new Satanic gospel to Joseph Smith. And Ravi had no problem joining them for dinner in Salt Lake City.
In his book Grand Weaver, Ravi wrote these words: Convictions without compromise. The will is both the framer of your convictions and the efficient cause in honoring those convictions. Setting these convictions in place gives you guidelines of where to draw the lines. A conviction is not merely an opinion. It is something rooted so deeply in the conscience that to change a conviction would be to change who you are.
(The Grand Weaver by Ravi Zacharias)
Ravi told us about his convictions. Ravi told us to draw the lines. But did he draw any lines in his own life? They found selfie-styled pictures of more than 200 women on his phone. Ravi said his convictions gave him the guidelines of where to draw the lines. Looking back, we can see where his ‘convictions’ finally led him. When Lori Anne Thompson accused him of sexting, rather than confessing his sin before the world, Ravi sued her for ‘extortion’ and made her sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. We don’t see much courage in Ravi’s actions.
If you read the Old Testament, you will come across great prophets like Micaiah who unapologetically condemned the sins of Israel and of the house of King Ahab. “Thus saith the Lord” This is what the Lord says to you…. no apologies, no retractions, no corrections, no modifiers, no qualifiers. What God says is final. They lived simple lifestyles like commoners and boldly preached the Word of God.
We don’t have such prophets anymore; we only have populist celebrity preachers like Max and Ravi. They love their million dollar mansions and New York Times best sellers. They teach us about convictions but if put them under little pressure they will write you an ‘apology’ letter.
They give us “Watered down Christianity” with platitudes like “Let us show compassion, Let us show love, Let us show patience” etc. They take such “offense to no one” stuff to write their sermons and books.
Apostle Paul asked the Galatians, Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10). The great Apostle took God and His Word seriously. He cared more for the approval of God than for the approval of men. He asked, Am I trying to please men? If I were, I would not be a servant of Christ.
The curse of modern Christianity is we have so many people pleasers in our time. They crave more for the approval of men than of God. Is Max Lucado worse than Ravi Zacharias? My answer is both are cowards.